CV Axle Replacement (With Pictures)
I have been looking at this site for awhile and it allowed me to gain a lot of knowledge to save some $$$. Thought I'd share my experience. Recently had my 06 Murano (2WD) at the dealer for warranty repairs of lower control arms. Passenger side inner CV boot was also torn and grease is ALL over the bottom of the car. Dealer wanted $500 to replace the CV Boot only as it was not covered under warranty (I told him to shove it.) I figured I would just do it myself and below is my experience.
I decided to replace the entire axle since I was going to have to pull it out anyway. I got a remanufactured axle from a local autopart store for $73. I could have gotten one online for $44 but did not have time to wait for shipping.
First, jack up the car and remove the wheel. I then sprayed all of the bolts and nuts I would be removing with PB Blaster. I live in Texas and corrosion is not much of an issue but figured I would make it as easy on myself as possible. I let that sit for abut 15 minutes while I had breakfast.
I started by removing the cotter pins from the outer tie rod and axle nuts. Then I removed the bolt for the wheel sensor and removed the sensor from the hub. Be careful with sensor as it is made of plastic and damages easily (and it is not cheap!). I then removed the axle nut with a 32mm socket and my impact wrench. I then removed the nut from the end of the outer tie rod. You then have to separate the outer tie rod from the steering knuckle. Be careful not to damage the bushing on the tie rod (like I did with my handy pickle fork!, gonna have to replace that next weekend). Then remove the Nut and remove the bolt which holds the ball joint in the Hub housing.
Next, you have to separate the ball joint from the hub assembly. This was a PITA big time. I used a ball joint separator, and guess what, I damaged the bushing on the ball joint as well! Then, you may have to drive the axle back through the Hub using a sledge. Be sure to thread the axle nut back flush onto the threads before hitting it. If you do not, the threads will mushroom and the axle will be useless (even as a core). After that, there are only 3 bolts (and some rust) holding the CV axle in place. They are located just behind the inner CV boot and hold the axle to the frame. Once they are removed, the only thing holding the axle in place is rust. Luckily, mine came out pretty easy. Be careful when removing the axle not to damage the seal which goes into the transmission. Nissan recommends you replace this seal, although, I did not. Once the old axle is out, be sure to swap the dust cover off the old axle onto the new one (If your axle did not come with one). Assembly is the reverse of the steps above. The job took me about 3 hours from start to finish. Hope this may help somebody out who needs to do the same thing.